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Old 29-06-2017, 11:03 AM   #1
alcalc
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Default Rigging Motion platforms in Maya

Hello community.

My first post so apologies if anything is not the norm!

I am using Maya to rig & animate motion platforms. The movement data is exported as CSV points and inputted into a motion controller which drives the rigs.

Here is a link to a screencast of the project in question.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vg3o91p9rp...st....mov?dl=0

The pistons and ram bodies are connected with Aim constraints and the ram is parented to the top plate. So as the top plate moves all 6 rams react, however I am having a couple of issues with rigging the model.

1. Limiting the stroke length of the rams. I have limited (attribute editor, limit information) the Y translate on the controller so the rams are limited at 0 and 300 (stroke length).

However I can't find a solution for limiting the rotation. If the rig is lowered at a 0 position and only 2 rams are raised the other 4 should not lower past 0.

see attached photo 1

Likewise at the top position no ram should go above 300.

see attached photo 2

I need a way to either add limiting positions to each object or perhaps add a box around the model which could dynamically stop the rams going past a specific point. Or any other suggested ideas!


2. Exporting distance (measure tool) as CVS points.

At the moment I have parented a small cylinder to each ram and exported the movement data of the cylinder to CSV points.

I would like to connect locators to the ram and ram body to monitor the distance of travel throughout a move but I can't find a way to export the distance data from the measure tool (0-300) as CSV points.

see attached photo 3

Is there a way you can view the measure tool distance in the channel box?

I have struggled to find any info online so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1. rams going into body.jpg (337.6 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 2. rams out of body.jpg (307.0 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg 3. distance measure tool on ram.jpg (363.1 KB, 17 views)
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Old 17-08-2017, 05:37 PM   #2
drKhawonaha
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Hello alcalc,
I have, word for word, the exact same problem. For the past 5+ years I have, on and off, been troubled with this problem. I am not convinced there is a simple method to achieve this, the motion platform is constructed from 6 'actuators' that push the top platform around, that in turn, is restricted by universal joints. This is easily achievable when controlling the individual actuators but becomes a crazy 'cyclic' relationship when attempting to control it via a central IK.
I wish I could offer some actual, practical, advice but I am actually writing to find out if you managed to find a solution.
Please let me know, maybe between us we can get a semblance of something workable.

Cheers
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Old 24-10-2017, 11:14 AM   #3
ajf46
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Hi alcalc,

I have created tools for the data export to motion controllers with either .txt or .csv files, I am happy to discuss with you. Where are you based and what kind of productions are you working on?
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